Old BBQ to woodfired cob oven

An old brick BBQ sits in my backyard used only to store firewood. I tried firing it up a couple of times but all I got was a lukewarm grill plate and billowing smoke throughout the neighbourhood – not good. But I couldn’t get it out of my mind. There MUST be a way to turn this useless heap of bricks into a wood-fired oven. So here is a design I have come up with..

A few notes on the design:

  • Firstly, my Sketchup skills are not sufficient to render the door the way I intend – as an arched opening rather than the rectangle shown here. This may be achieved using a brick surround or cut through the cob – time will tell.
  • I will need to make a door out of wood with a metal skin on the fire side.
  • The chimney opening at the back of the oven will need to be tinkered with during the firing to ensure the correct amount of draw through the oven. This should be easy enough using a couple of loose bricks that can be moved using a peel to enlarge or shrink the opening size.
    The mess created by the cob process could mean that the entire BBQ gets the render treatment to hide any sins.
  • BBQ is around 700mm deep at present and will be extended to around 900mm in the centre to accommodate the dome. Luckily the concrete pad the BBQ is built on extends out in front as a footing.
  • Firebricks will be used on the floor of the oven to prolong the life of the cement underneath and to provide good even thermal mass.

So, the next step is to build the sucker. And I’ll need a bit of help – Any volunteers?

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